Tart Cranberry Pie

Ingredients (11)

  • 2 (12-ounce) bags frozen cranberries
  • 3 medium ripe Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and cut into small dice
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 2 recipes Basic Pie Dough, refrigerated
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
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Tart Cranberry Pie

The tart cranberry might seem like an unlikely candidate to star in a pie, especially after Thanksgiving has passed. But pair it with some sweet pears, wintry spices, and orange zest, and voilà—this holiday staple has earned a spot on the table all winter.

Game plan: Baking your pie on a baking stone ensures a crisp, fully cooked bottom crust.

Chowhound’s Basic Pie Dough can be made a day in advance; let it sit on the counter a few minutes before rolling out. For tips on how to make a pie crust, watch our video.

This recipe from Chef Alexandra Guarnaschelli of Butter restaurant in New York was featured as part of our Modern Potluck menu.

Tips for Christmas


  1. 1Heat the oven to 425°F, arrange a rack in the middle, and place a baking sheet (large enough to hold the pie) or baking stone on the rack.
  2. 2Combine cranberries, pears, and sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pears are just tender and sugar is dissolved, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain fruit through a fine mesh strainer, reserving juices in a heatproof bowl.
  3. 3Transfer fruit to a medium bowl and add vanilla bean and seeds, cloves, corn syrup, orange zest, and enough reserved juices to just moisten the fruit, about 1/3 cup. (The juices should not be pooling in the bottom of the bowl.) Stir to combine; set aside to cool, at least 10 minutes. Place egg yolk and milk in a small bowl and whisk until evenly combined; set aside.
  4. 4Once the dough has rested and the filling is cool, roll one pie dough disk on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. Line a 9-1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate with the dough and trim the excess, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang.
  5. 5Roll out the second disk of dough on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness and, using a pastry cutter or knife, cut a 1-inch round opening in the center.
  6. 6Pour the cranberry filling into the pie plate, and place the second dough round over top to enclose. Pinch the border to seal the two crusts and to create a decorative, fluted edge. Brush egg mixture over top of pie and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
  7. 7Place pie on the baking stone or sheet in the center of the oven and bake, undisturbed, for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F. Cook for an additional 45 to 50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling and thick. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing.

Beverage pairing: Dashe Dry Creek Late Harvest Zinfandel, California. This late-harvest Zinfandel has all the spice and dark fruit to hold up to the cranberry, and it is on the drier side of dessert wines, making it a perfect noncloying match to this tart dessert.

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